CEDAR FALLS — Two Iowa National Guard members who attend the University of Northern Iowa said Monday that an exam they missed during a training drill won’t count against their final grade in the course.
Spc. James Roethler and Pvt. Dustin Hiller missed a psychology test because they went to their mandatory military training.
“I would’ve been considered AWOL” for skipping the drill, Hiller said.
When professor Cathy DeSoto said they couldn’t make up the exam, they filed a formal grievance with the university. The pair said they met with officials Monday about their concerns.
“A formal agreement has been instated and there will be no negative impact on my grade,” Roethler said.
In a statement issued last week, DeSoto said that would be the logical result of any UNI instructor’s policy. It should be obvious, she said, that no professor would ever have a policy that a missed exam for reasonable purposes — “of which National Guard duty clearly applies” — would result in a zero or a failing grade.
But DeSoto has faced criticism and harassment since the incident came to light.
“She has received multiple threats, she has to be escorted by armed guards and that’s not what I wanted when I filed this grievance,” Roethler said.
The Faculty Senate is working on a new policy that includes exceptions for National Guard soldiers in cases like this one.
“For people coming in who are in the military, this won’t be an issue they have to worry about,” Roethler said.